Resurrecting this one again! Posted this on KF, thought it fit well here too. Its a bit of a read!
Since you asked, My current kites are definitely the best I’ve owned, and here’s why.
For some context, I ride a surfboard strapless in light wind and wave conditions. I ride a rockered stiff custom with boots in powered bump and jump conditions. So, two boards and currently two kites, a 10 and a 6.
The most important thing I’m looking for in a kite is unhooked performance. I’ve had a few really good SLE’s before but none of them unhooked well. They were great kites, but all needed too much strap pulled in to fly unhooked which really killed their performance. I switched back to modern C kites and thought I’d hit the jackpot. I was fine with the minor inconveniences of the 5th line and needing a 14m. The consistency and performance unhooked were well worth it. This year I stayed with Ocean Rodeo because they have been great to me in the past and I liked my C kites a lot, but they no longer make it, so I went with it’s replacement. Razors.
Firstly they are absolutely excellent unhooked. Predictable power, great pull through the turns, no stall and they stay right where you put em in the window. On par with my recent quiver of 5 line C’s in every respect with all the added bonuses of being an SLE:
simple 4 line, really powerful, with all the depower that comes with bridles
Now you wanted particulars so here they are:
Its a 4 strut kite. Lighter, faster, and less pumping than anything I’ve owned.
The one pump is better than previous years. The tubes are much shorter and are always straight because the nozzles on LE and struts are angled toward each other. Simple improvement that makes for easier inflation and deflation as the hoses never kink shut.
The strut construction is better as the closing seam is also where it is sewn to the Canopy. There is no long seam running up the inside of the strut that tends to weaken where the struts kink while sitting on the beach. Have had kites need some gluefix there in the past and always look to see how the struts are built. The struts are also very thin which makes em light and quick to inflate/deflate.
LE construction is an improvement. The final closing of the kite is now only from the outside strut to the tips. Somehow they manage to reinforce the LE from the inside with a flat piece of webbing that runs from outside strut to outside strut. This is a load bearing piece of webbing sewn flat on the inside of the tube that takes the load off the actual seam. You cant see the webbing just the stitching, so its pretty subtle, but I notice this stuff. Its brilliant. Not easy to picture I’m sure from my description, but it is by far and away better.
The bridle is as good as it can be. The kite is C shaped so its only three attachments up the leading edge. Its nice and compact, and it allows the kite to completely roll on its back when you go to safety or drop the bar unhooked. A significant improvement over any other kite that flies off its front lines in those situations.
Relaunch is the best I’ve tried and it easily reverse launches off snow by pulling both rear lines.
This brings up a point. I think the four strut design that puts a little more depth of chord toward the tips is ideal as the bigger wingtip compared to otherwise similarly shaped three strut kites like the WH or Bandit helps with light wind manners. There is just a little more wingtip to keep the kite flying when its way off to 10 or 2 o’clock in the window. Basically the kite just recovers better in really light wind (Sometimes the case on snow). Those big wingtips also make it really responsive.
The range of the kites. I’m down to two kites that overlap nicely. Especially with my boards. Both the 10 and 6 are incredibly powerful for their size, yet they are small. They are fast and fun to fly in the light stuff using a small fast and flat surfboard yet a wake set up gives you tons of strength at the top end of their range, easily 40 knots on the 6m. I don’t think I’d buy a bigger one. If I ever got the motivation to go bigger I’d jump straight to a 19m flysurfer.
The bar. Its clean simple, the swivel works, and they give you the choice of above or below the bar trim. I like above the bar for various reasons and theirs works perfect while staying tidy. IMO their chicken loop unit is one of the best out there. It’s push release, works every time, is simple to reload even in the water it auto aligns perfectly, its light and it doesn’t chew up the bar. The bushing in the bar is very large and has been the best I’ve owned for not wearing the depower line. All four flying lines are the same length, 21m. + 2m for the leaders on the bar and you get a total of 23, no extension crap to snag on unwinding. Simple, kook proof with pull tabs, and trimmed perfect on both kites out of the bag.
Well thats it. The Razor is a grunty, fast and well behaved kite, built both light and tough with a lot of attention and evolution in the details. I have outlined the details for you, but the magic is in the flying. So much performance with exceptional manners. Feedback is excellent with nice medium bar pressure. I’d put up with a lot of missed details or inconvenience for this kind of performance, but quite frankly Ocean Rodeo have not missed a thing when it comes to the fit and finish. This kite is the complete package and is perfectly geared toward the wave and wake set.
I don’t make a cent off the kite industry, but am lucky enough to be a shop rider so I get a break on costs. I have the choice of a number of big brands, but I make a decent living and absolutely love to kite so if I thought there was something better I would spoil myself. Kiting is my addiction and 8 years in I gladly support the great crew of people at Ocean Rodeo.